Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To cause to lose interest or feel dull and not alert.
  • transitive verb To render useless or ineffectual.
  • transitive verb To cause to appear stupid, inconsistent, or ridiculous.
  • transitive verb Law To claim incapacity as setting aside or preventing enforcement of (a deed or contract).

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make or cause to appear foolish; reduce to foolishness or absurdity: used of persons or things.
  • To look upon as a fool; regard as foolish.
  • In law, to allege one's own insanity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To make foolish; to make a fool of.
  • transitive verb rare To regard as a fool, or as foolish.
  • transitive verb (Law) To allege or prove to be of unsound mind, so that the performance of some act may be avoided.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To prove to be of unsound mind or demonstrate someone's incompetence.
  • verb To cause to appear foolish.
  • verb To deprive of strength or efficacy; make useless or worthless.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb deprive of strength or efficiency; make useless or worthless
  • verb prove to be of unsound mind or demonstrate someone's incompetence
  • verb cause to appear foolish

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Late Latin stultificāre, to make foolish : Latin stultus, foolish; see stel- in Indo-European roots + Latin -ficāre, -fy.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin stultus "stupid, foolish".

Examples

  • By doing the right thing – following in the footsteps of the Bush Administration – without setting forth good reasons, the President will stultify his ability to keep on doing it.

    If the Policy Is Right, Does the Rhetoric Matter?

  • By doing the right thing – following in the footsteps of the Bush Administration – without setting forth good reasons, the President will stultify his ability to keep on doing it.

    Stromata Blog:

  • In the middle of your well-deserved editorial paean to Steve Jobs, "The Importance of Jobs" Aug. 26, you can't resist slamming "government rules and controls" that you think "stultify . . . human ingenuity and passion."

    On the Insanely Great and Fruitful Career of Steve Jobs

  • Yet, the fact is, most cultures – ours included – have created structures that serve to alienate, denigrate, punish, contain, stultify, objectify, and just plain use women.

    More than 50% of People are Women | Living the Liminal

  • Yet, the fact is, most cultures – ours included – have created structures that serve to alienate, denigrate, punish, contain, stultify, objectify, and just plain use women.

    20 | May | 2007 | Living the Liminal

  • AftertheWhite House gathering earlier this week, Jindal was all over the television, applauding the President's efforts, while simultaneously attempting to hamper and stultify them.

    IT IS NOT PERMANENT

  • A ban can be considered "informal" by a historian writing in 2009 but still have had the potential to greatly stultify technological development, had it not been reversed.

    On Micheal Jackson's Downfall

  • Yet, the fact is, most cultures – ours included – have created structures that serve to alienate, denigrate, punish, contain, stultify, objectify, and just plain use women.

    May | 2007 | Living the Liminal

  • In fact, if you sit outside of Bikini Village for 10 minutes, you will see every shape and size imaginable walk by, some of which will mystify and stultify, but walk by they do.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • In fact, if you sit outside of Bikini Village for 10 minutes, you will see every shape and size imaginable walk by, some of which will mystify and stultify, but walk by they do.

    Holy Hell.

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